Why has my usage doubled since my smart meter was installed?

  • 12 November 2018
  • 36 replies

I live in a 3 bed semi and have for the last 15 years. Recently switched to ovo and then had the smart meters installed .
My usage has crept up over the years like everyone's. 

Now on OVO with smart meters and nothing has changed in my home  my monthly usage/direct debit has gone to £246 a month that's a second mortgage any ideas why my bills have double since i switched to ovo?


Best answer by Nancy_OVO 15 November 2018, 11:03

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36 replies

I live in a 1 bedroom flat and my bill has more than doubled. At the moment even with my heating on a timer its working out at about 3.50 a day. Its crippling me financially.
I've noticed the same in the past 3 months since getting a smart meter with ovo. I need to sit down and work out my actual usage to see if i can work out why this has happened. Do you still have old statements that you can prove your usage over a year before the smart meter?
I have only been with OVO for a few months and since the smart meter was installed I can already see quite an increase in energy consumption compared to previous meter usage. There are no significant changes in the household to support this.Forecast for the next month is almost twice what I have been regularly paying for several years.

I have also queried to OVO why the costings on the IHD are different to my contract but had no response.
I am challenging my meter readings as I joined OVO to save money, they are more expensive than British Gas whom were my last supplier. They refuse to listen or re-calibrate the meter unless I pay for it.
They have sent me a deadlock letter and told me to go to the ombudsman
they have doubled my direct debit
they refuse to listen
anyone else with the same issues and what was done about it?
Userlevel 5

Updated on 04/07/22 by Jess_OVO


Having a smart meter installed won't directly increase your costs. There are no hidden effects on usage, and your tariff won't change. There are two things that will change after getting a smart meter, though:


Your bills will no longer be estimated


If you hadn't provided regular reading previously then your bills may have been under-estimated. As we’ll receive a final reading from the old meter when this is removed this could generate a larger than expected bill around the time your smart meters are installed. The good news is that now we’ll be receiving regular readings sent automatically from your meter when we need it you can be sure your bill is spot on. This avoids any nasty bill surprises in future.


Your meter will be accurate


The meter will clock accurately. Old meters can slow down, or even speed up meaning they're not measuring your energy usage correctly. We'd only expect to see this with very old meters. A brand new meter, smart or otherwise, will clock what you're using accurately.


It might be worth considering what else could have caused the increase to your monthly direct debit:


Plan prices may have changed over time

Another thing to consider is if you've renewed onto a new plan recently. The unit rates and standing charges will likely have changed from your previous plan. You can check the prices per Kwh and daily standing charge in the ‘Plan’ tab of your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS).


Your Direct Debit calculations are not only based on your current usage


If you notice an increase to your suggested direct debit amount after getting a Smart meter installed it is worth checking out the other factors which are considered when we calculate your recommended direct debit amount. We not only consider your average monthly usage but also the current balance on your account or the length left on your contract, so it may be that you have an outstanding balance to repay or are coming to the end of your contract.


Is there any support available if I’m struggling to pay for my energy?


There is help available if you’re struggling to pay your energy bills – both from us here at OVO Energy and from government schemes and charities as well.  There are many ways we can help – such as setting up a payment plan for you, which spreads the cost of your energy to make it more manageable. If you want to find out about payment plans, you can request one online here – we’ll take you through what you need to do, and ask you for some details. Our dedicated team is also specially trained to support you. They can make sure you’re receiving any financial assistance from the government that you’re eligible for, and take you through payment support schemes that are available. 


You can find out more about these schemes and where to seek free, independent advice right here.


OVO member but not got a smart meter yet? - Book today!


Interested but not yet an OVO member? - Check out our plans!


Userlevel 5
Hey @mara001- I've moved your post over here. Check out my answer above!
Hi, thank you for your reply. Firstly I am very aware of my energy usage and my payments via various suppliers have been fairly consistent over the last six years as I regularly compare tariffs so that my monthly payment stays fairly consistent. The meter that was recently changed out was also a smart meter. As to weather conditions I have not used more gas/electric than normal especially as I've been away for a week in the last month... Which is why I'm surprised that my bill for next month like like being up by 40%.
I am actually dreading the colder weather when I do have to use more gas/electric as my bills look like rocketing.
Also why does the IHD show a different tariff to what I signed up for?
I actually wish I'd never changed!
Userlevel 5
Which is why I'm surprised that my bill for next month like like being up by 40%.

I'm not sure what you mean here, Mark?

It's a shame to hear you're thinking about leaving. If you're on a fixed price tariff, your unit rates and standing charges won't change for the duration of the contract. You can find your rates online, or on a statement. If these rates differ from your previous supplier, then this could explain an overall change in your bill amounts. Aside from that, your usage will dictate how much you pay.
Hi. When I looked at changing to OVO it was fine based on previous energy usage which gave my OVO monthly payment. My usage has not increased so dramatically that my payment would increase from£37pm to £56 as requested on dashboard. Hence my concern about the huge increase. And I have still had no response as to why the IHD shows different costs to my online tarrif.
Userlevel 5
Ah I see. If you provided your consumption figures when you signed up to us, we would have given you the most accurate quote possible for your Direct Debit. This is still just an estimate though as your Direct Debit is subject to change as it's based on your usage. Don't worry though, the rates you signed up to will stay the same for the duration of your contract.

So that we can charge you for the exact amount you're using, make sure you provide us with readings each month. You can then amend your Direct Debit on your My OVO account to make sure it's in line with your usage.

It may be because it's not pulled through your rates properly. I'd advise contacting the Customer Care team on 0330 3035063 or contacting the Social Team on either Facebook or Twitter so they can look into this.

We have recently moved across to a smart meter and I am convinced there is an issue with the installation.
Before the new meter was installed my husband submitted an actual reading each month and our usage has been constant over 4 years but now we are being asked to increase our monthly direct debit from £93 to £213. We live in a bungalow, just the 2 of us, and keep the heating off during the day
Userlevel 7

now we are being asked to increase our monthly direct debit from £93 to £213



This might be worth a look, @Angie Wadsworth

Also our users like @Bumblebee often have good energy saving advice....

One thing to consider ruling out is a faulty meter. That said, if you're convinced it is faulty we'll be able to test it, confirm a fault and redo-billing/refund the cost of the test. Send us a message on webchat through the Help Centre.



I too have had the same problem. I was with Ovo at my last property. I had gsh and during the winter my usage was always around £60 and that was with a payg meter. I have a heart condition which can worsen in cold weather so during the winter months, I had the heating on 21c throughout the house 24/7. Plus the whole top floor of the house was open-plan. I into my new home which is all electric and whilst I do understand that electricity is more expensive than gas, the cost is astronomical. I have just one radiator on 21c, use draught excluders etc etc I am freezing to the point that I've been having to stay with my daughter and my bill last month was £98. Also I am now on pay monthly. The heating system is brand new each has it's own thermostat and should be energy efficient. I was told by my housing association that I should keep the main room on 21c and the rest of the house on 18c as just having one radiator on would continue to burn electricity. However, I did this yesterday and used £8.34! I contacted Ovo who asked me to do a kettle test and was told over the phone that this was very high then a couple of hours later received an email saying it was normal. I live alone and have all the same appliances as I had in my previous home. I too was told I would have to pay £150 to have the meter tested. I explained that as I was in receipt of benefit, there was no way that I could afford that. The person at Ovo then spoke to his manager who said they'd never once had a faulty Smart meter so it wasn't worth testing it. I'm at my wits end worrying about this
I have recently moved house and switched to new smart meter. I was previously with ovo and had a smart meter installed. I paid £140 d/d per month which I believed was fairly high for a 2 bedroom property. Including myself we are a family of 4. We are all out at work and school during the day. I have moved to a 3 bedroom bungalow and had the smart meter installed. Since then my bills have rocketed to around 235-240 per month and climbing. I have been in touch with ovo who have provided the same response as previous. At the the meter is showing around £8-£9 usage per day. For December my bill tells me I used 686.7kwh electricity at £124.42 and 2593.4 kWh gas at £108.50. This is very alarming as we are not using anything differnt to my previous property. I have done all the tests and all appears to be correct with the meters. My question is this. I see a lot of the people with the same problem however I don’t see any resolutions to these issues or answers how this problem can be addressed as there is clearly an issue somewhere. Any advice is welcome ?
This thread is particularly interesting as we had an issue with increased usage after we changed from a British Gas smart meter to Ovo smart meters. No issue with electric but started using significantly more gas. We did pay to have our meter checked and it was found not to be faulty however, of course, to test the meter it has to be replaced with another meter. Interestingly this replacement meter is recording usage in line with our previous British Gas meter and we are using, across summer and winter so far, about 30 - 40% less than with the meter we had tested.
Once we reach the end of the winter I will write o Ovo with the evidence of our decreased usage since having the meter changed. I suspect that it won’t make one iota of difference and they will continue to say that the meter we had tested was not faulty. The fact of the matter is that our usage before changing to and after removing the “dodgy” meter correlates and is significantly lower by at least 30% than that with the “dodgy” meter.
Hi Manda,

You are not alone. I also have just had these so called Smart Meters installed. Less than a week ago. None of the Tariffs correspond with my agreed contract, and also am showing readings of in excess of £50 per day. Which means by the end of the year, my bill would equate to Approx £18/19k. Have reported it but am deafened by the lack of any response.

My contract expires in Mar. Unless it is resolved by then I am leaving. Very poor customer service.
Just received my third or forth bill since having smart meters installed, like others the gas element of each bill has been bigger than the previous, with the last being so alarming I actually checked it, only to find that on each one the opening meter reading was the previous months usage value not the previous closing meter reading. This means I’ve been significantly over charged for gas usage, which I’ll be taking up with Ovo ... this could be the reason for other unexpectedly high bills reported here
Not in my case. I just checked. ☹️
Userlevel 4
Hi @PatCrowder, @Mn11, @Jlmjlm,

First let me say that having a smart meter installed won't directly increase your costs. There are no hidden costs to having one fitted, and your tariff won't change.


If the above statement is true how exactly does OVO recover the costs to install and maintain our SMART meters? According to OFGEM they state the following...

How much will it cost to have a smart meter installed?

You will not be charged separately for a smart meter or for the in-home display.
Under current arrangements you pay for the cost of your meter and its maintenance through your energy bills, and this will be the same for smart meters.

Source: OFGEM

The above guidance given by OFGEM suggests that we are all paying more for our energy to cover these costs therefore these costs are hidden because OVO doesn't tell the customer how much extra they're paying through their bills.

Every household, whether they want a smart meter or not, is being forced to fork out £420 to help fund the £11billion smart meter project. The cash is being pick-pocketed from our energy bills – rising up to 10 per cent this year to an average £1,150.

Source: This is Money

If you decide to get a SMART Meter
Your supplier is responsible for installing your smart meter and making sure it works properly - they should:
  • explain the process beforehand
  • show you how to use your smart meter
  • give you a copy of the instructions
They should also give you a number to call if anything goes wrong, or if you think your meter isn’t working properly. For example if you can’t see usage details on your in-home display.

Source: Citizens

It's interesting to note that after having my own SMART meter installed I was given no instructions how to operate the meter, likewise I don't believe they provided contact details if anything went wrong.
I had a new smart meter fitted in a domestic home. The meter is saying we're using around £100 of gas and electric DAILY!!!! This is clearly nonsense - what can I do...
Userlevel 4
Contact OVO and ask them to send someone to check your meter, those figures surely can't be correct. I've been reading about how smart meters when tested in the Netherlands saw some people being charged £37,000 for one month! Clearly there's an issue here which needs urgently investigating.
Had new smart meters installed on Friday. No gas reading until after the engineer left - he said that's normal.
First day - my gas cost £78.38 for 24 hours.
Second day - my gas cost £203 for 24 hours.
I just thought it was funny until I read the forum.
At this rate my gas will cost £51,000.00 for the year!
Just like the people in the Netherlands.
I shall be checking the actual meter readings very carefully and phoning OVO in the morning!